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More competitors or more competition? Market concentration and the intensity of competition

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  • Menezes, Flavio M.
  • Quiggin, John

Abstract

We present a model of competitive interaction among n symmetric firms producing a homogeneous good that includes both Bertrand and Cournot competition as special cases. In our model the intensity of competition is captured by a single parameter—the perceived slope of competitors’ supply functions. We show that total welfare increases monotonically with the intensity of competition and the number of competitors. We then examine how the intensity of competition affects the gains from changing the number of competitors. When competition is intense, most of the gains from extra competition are captured with the entry of a small number of firms and subsequent gains from entry are small. Conversely, when the intensity of competition is small, a reduction in the number of firms can have a large impact on welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Menezes, Flavio M. & Quiggin, John, 2012. "More competitors or more competition? Market concentration and the intensity of competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 712-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:712-714
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2011.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Menezes, Flavio M. & Quiggin, John, 2010. "Markets for influence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 307-310, May.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
    3. Xavier Vives, 2011. "Strategic Supply Function Competition With Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1919-1966, November.
    4. Flavio Menezes & John Quiggin, 2007. "Games without Rules," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 315-347, December.
    5. Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 1996. "Capital Precommitment and Competition in Supply Schedules," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 427-441, December.
    6. Turnbull, Stephen J., 1983. "Choosing duopoly solutions by consistent conjectures and by uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 253-258.
    7. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    8. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "Nash Equilibrium and the Industrial Organization of Markets with Large Fixed Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1149-1172, September.
    9. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-1277, November.
    10. Robson, Arthur J., 1981. "Implicit oligopolistic collusion is destroyed by uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 75-80.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Menezes, Flavio & Quiggin, John, 2013. "Inferring the strategy space from market outcomes," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151206, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. repec:bla:jpbect:v:19:y:2017:i:4:p:841-859 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tina Kao & Flavio Menezes & John Quiggin, 2014. "Optimal access regulation with downstream competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 75-93, February.
    4. Delbono, Flavio & Lambertini, Luca, 2016. "Ranking Bertrand, Cournot and supply function equilibria in oligopoly," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 73-78.
    5. Delbono, Flavio & Lambertini, Luca, 2018. "Choosing roles under supply function competition," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 83-88.
    6. Delbono, Flavio & Lambertini, Luca, 2015. "On the properties of linear supply functions in oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 22-24.
    7. Flavio M. Menezes & John Quiggin, 2017. "The Strategic Industry Supply Curve," Discussion Papers Series 584, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    8. Marc Escrihuela-Villar, 2016. "On the price effects of collusion and the number of firms," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1694-1704.
    9. Flavio M. Menezes & Jorge Pereira, 2017. "Emissions abatement R&D: Dynamic competition in supply schedules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(4), pages 841-859, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition intensity; Number of competitors; Mergers;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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